Library Catalogs

There are several ways to search for information about the Society's collections.

ABIGAIL

ABIGAIL, the Society's library online catalog, is the place to start your search for information about MHS holdings.  Updated frequently, ABIGAIL provides access to catalog records for manuscripts, books, pamphlets, broadsides, photographs, art, artifacts, and other formats of material. 

Collection Guides

Many of the Society's manuscript and photograph collections are described in more detail in searchable online collection guides. Collection guides not yet online are available in the Society's reading room.

Online Adams Catalog

The Online Adams Catalog (OAC) contains more than 110,000 records representing every known document related to the Adams family dating from 1630 to 1889.

Other catalogs

Approximately 350,000 individual manuscripts are described in an item catalog available on microfiche at the MHS.  Although many of the descriptions have been revised or superceded, and more have been added, The Catalog of Manuscripts of the Massachusetts Historical Society (published by G. K. Hall, 1969; 1980 supplement) is available in more than 150 U.S. libraries and remains a useful resource for descriptions of individual manuscript items.

For Further Information

Researchers with questions about research strategies or the Society's library holdings should contact the Reader Services staff.

Upcoming Events

Seminar; Digital History Seminar; Online Event

POSTPONED - Excavating Egyptology: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project

26Jan 5:15PM 2021
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED The Nile travel diaries of Mrs. Emma B. Andrews are an important yet underutilized resource for the so-called “Golden Age” of ...

Online Event; Author Talk

The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England

28Jan 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

Afflictions of all sorts coursed through eighteenth-century New England – towns and cities set ablaze by epidemics, soldiers sickened and injured in the fight for ...

Online Event; Author Talk

Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

1Feb 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility— has always held particular importance for African Americans ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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